Alcohol addiction can not only severely damage the body, but it can also devastate a person’s life to the point where death seems like a preferable alternative.
An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for moving my alcoholic dad in with me to essentially drink himself to death?”.
The Original Poster (OP) adds, “My siblings are understandably upset but have done very little to actually help since they’ve moved away.” We need to hear your take on the matter.
So obviously, this is a screwed-up situation all around. OP’s dad is 58 and a severe alcoholic. OP is 22, she has a half-sister who is 45, and a full brother who is 24. They live in different states.
OP did not stay behind to care for her dad but OP has really been her dad’s only support system.
OP’s Dad’s History Of Being An Alcoholic
OP’s dad has been in and out of rehab, he’s been arrested for public intoxication, public indecency, DUI well over 20 times and numerous other things that would probably break the rules to talk about them.
What Does OP Say
“This has been going on as long as I can remember. He is destitute, malnourished, and has advanced ARD (alcohol-related dementia) which is worse when he doesn’t drink. He can’t work, drive or care for himself in any meaningful way. I’ve been there for all of it while my siblings left a long time ago and have done nothing other than an occasional check.”, says OP.
What Happened At The Long-Term Care Facility?
OP’s sister arranged for their dad to be put in a long-term care facility (she was not paying for it, state-funded) reasonably close to OP.
He was “sober” but was caught several times stealing alcohol wipes to suck on them. OP visited him twice, and it was like a horror show, OP didn’t realize places like this existed outside of the movies.
OP’s Dad Begged Him
During one of his coherent moments, OP’s dad begged OP to take him out. OP told him the second he had access to alcohol he’ll drink again. He said he knew, but he’s ready to die, and he’s at peace with it.
What Did OP Decide To Do Next?
OP talked it over with her husband, and they hired a specialist to examine her dad, and he said if he drinks, he has maybe 6 months left.
They did a quick remodel on their house so her dad will have easy access to a bathroom and they said they will buy him a 30-pack of cheap beer a day and he can stay with them until he was gone.
OP Says What?
“Yes it sounds awful but on one hand he has his family, he’s not covered in bed bugs, he’s clean and has entertainment.
He’s not stealing to fund his habit, he’s not bothering the public and he won’t get arrested.”, says OP.
OP’s Siblings’ Opinions
OP’s siblings think that he is going to get better in the facility and think OP has signed him up for a death sentence.
OP told them that they are welcome to move him to a facility closer to them so they can be the ones to visit him and see his food covered in roaches and his baths being wiped down with chemicals.
OP’s sister said she can’t because of her “reputation as a real estate agent” (OP’s stomach hurt, she laughed so hard) and her brother said he doesn’t want his kids to see their grandpa like that.
“Both ridiculous excuses, but they insist on being angry with me when I’m the one who’s borne all the stress and heartache of seeing this in person.”, says OP.
OP’s Thoughts Regarding The Matter
To OP, this allows a man who has made some terrible choices in his life the ability to at least not linger in some hell hole for the next 10 years and die as bad as he lived…but at least on his own terms.
“Am I a jerk?”, asks OP.
That’s What You Call The Harm Reduction Model
“Social worker here, with years of experience in this area. You are doing something called the Harm Reduction model.
Try Googling it and sharing info with your family. But don’t expect anyone to understand. I’ve been to those facilities and I believe you.
Clean and healthy food is better. The key here is self-determination and respect. Good luck. This is going to be awful but you are amazing.”
That Shouldn’t Be Anybody’s Business
“Not the jerk. If a 58-year-old lifelong alcoholic wants to drink themselves to death, that seems like their business. Everyone is all for body autonomy until it isn’t pretty.”
You Are Doing A Very Selfless Thing
“Not the jerk. As an alcoholic myself and with much experience being around other addicts, I can say with certainty that some addicts do not want to and will never stop. For some addicts, it will be terminal.
At least you are giving him some dignity and the chance to be around family.
I am sorry he hasn’t found it in him to get better for you and your family at least but I believe you are doing a very selfless thing.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.